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USGA, R&A seeking public input on distance gains

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The R&A and USGA announced Tuesday that they have jointly launched a distance project intended to gather perspective and information from all areas of the game.

Called the Distance Insights project, the exercise is designed to examine distance and its effects on golf. Focus groups and discussion forums will be formed throughout the year in order to secure a broad range of perspectives.

Among other topics, the organizations will seek distance-related data on pace of play, golf course construction, maintenance practices, evolution of equipment, golf course design, player enjoyment and participation.

“Distance in golf is a complex issue which is widely debated at all levels of the sport,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said. “It is important that we collate all of the relevant data and hear the many different perspectives on this issue that exist in the international golf community. We intend to conduct this process openly, comprehensively and promptly and will work with all of the key stakeholders to ensure we have a fully rounded view of distance and its implications.”

Said USGA CEO Mike Davis: “The topic of increased distance and its effects on the game have been discussed for well over a century. We believe that now is the time to examine this topic through a very wide and long lens, knowing it is critical to the future of the game.”

Anyone interested in providing feedback can visit usga.org/distanceinsightsranda.org/distanceinsights or can email either the R&A or USGA.

A comprehensive distance report with findings from the insights project will be released in 2019.